1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges

Anonymous, in "Sir Egerton Brydges' Note-Book" New Monthly Magazine NS 16 (January 1826) 62.



Enough of Sir Egerton Brydges. A man who thinks Mrs. Barbauld and Mrs. Smith great writers — who calls Horace Walpole a genius — and who says that the finest parts of Dante and Milton are their plainest — who asserts that the circulation of knowledge is poison, and that the age is ignorant, because we do not discuss Choriambic Alcaics and Ionics, and longs and shorts, and whose ignorance of the matters about which he pretends to write we have exposed, — is a very fit person indeed to decide upon the literature of his own or any other age! What has Sir E. done to qualify himself for such an office? He has redeemed from "defrauded pies" some of the trash of ancient days, about which we were formerly in a state of happy ignorance — and he has dosed the public with a copious exhibition of his own weak prose and weaker poetry — and this is al. Let him take our advice — let him make a second auto-de-fe of his second Memoirs, and stick to his Stemmata Illustria, a folio of which he says he is now compiling, and which, with a just knowledge of its value, he intends to give away!